Show ContentsVesey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Vesey is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Vesey family lived in Northampton. The name, however, derives from the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Vassy, Normandy. One of the first records of the name was Robertus Invesiatus, Lascivus which appeared in the Domesday Book [1] in Essex [2]. Other records show the name was originally De Vesci, which was a baronial name, a branch of the De Burgh family. [3]

Eustace de Vescy or Vesci, Baron Vesci (1170?-1216), "son of William de Vesci and Burga de Stuteville, paid his relief on coming of age in 2 Richard I (1191-1192). He was with the king in Palestine in 1195. John de Vescy (d. 1289) was eldest son of William de Vescy (d. 1253), and elder brother of William de Vescy. In 1253, on the death of his father in Gascony, he succeeded to the family estates. These included the barony of Alnwick and a large property in Northumberland." [4]

Early Origins of the Vesey family

The surname Vesey was first found in Northampton where Robert de Vassy (Veci) and his brother Ivo were granted nineteen Lordships in that county and overlapping into Warwick, Lincoln, and Leicester, by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

"The 'Sires de Waacie,' spoken of by Wace at the battle of Hastings, were Robert, who in 1086 held a great barony in Northants, Warwick, Lincoln, and Leicester; and Ivo, who does not appear even as a mesne-lord in Domesday. Yet we hear nothing more either of Robert or his possessions, and the whole history of the family centres on Ivo, and Ivo's posterity." [5]

Ivo (John) won the hand of Alda, daughter of Gilbert, Lord of Alnwick in Northumberland and the family claim considerable prominence as the Lords of Vesey from which Lords Fitzgerald and Vesei claim descent.

Further to the south in Tamerton, Cornwall, "Vacye was for some time the seat of a family of this name; but it is at present the property and residence of George Call, Esq. The church of Tamerton contains several memorials for the family of Vacye." [6]

Early History of the Vesey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Vesey research. Another 204 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1313, 1500, 1589, 1661, 1462, 1554, 1470, 1674 and 1746 are included under the topic Early Vesey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Vesey Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Vesey are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Vesey include Feasey, Feasy, Fessey, Fassey, Fessys, Fressis, Veasey, Vassey, Vassy, Vesci, Vezey, Vezay, Vesey, Vessey and many more.

Early Notables of the Vesey family (pre 1700)

Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Vesey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Vesey Ranking

In the United States, the name Vesey is the 16,690th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Vesey family to Ireland

Some of the Vesey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Vesey migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Vesey, or a variant listed above:

Vesey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Margaret Vesey, who landed in Maryland in 1668 [8]
Vesey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Samuel Vesey, who landed in Virginia in 1713 [8]
  • Charles Vesey, who settled in Maryland in 1752
  • Abraham Vesey, who settled in South Carolina in 1795
Vesey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • J Vesey, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [8]
  • H. M. Vesey settled in San Francisco, California in 1852
  • Pat Vesey, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1855 [8]

New Zealand Vesey migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Vesey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Vesey, aged 43, a blacksmith, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Chile" in 1873
  • Anne Vesey, aged 27, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Chile" in 1873
  • John William Vesey, aged 5, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Chile" in 1873

Contemporary Notables of the name Vesey (post 1700) +

  • James Edward Vesey (b. 1965), retired American ice hockey player
  • Denmark Vesey (1767-1822), known as Telemaque while enslaved, an American former slave in Charleston, South Carolina who is noted for his plan for "the rising," a major slave revolt in 1822
  • William Henry Vesey (d. 1881), American politician, U.S. Consul in Lisbon, 1843-46; Antwerp, 1846-53; Aix-la-Chapelle, 1861-69; Nice, 1870-81 [9]
  • Francis Gerald Vesey (1832-1915), English clergyman, Archdeacon of Huntingdon from 1874 to 1915
  • Elizabeth Vesey (1750-1791), Irish-born, English socialite and writer
  • General Sir Ivo Ivo Lucius Beresford Vesey KCB KBE CMG DSO (1876-1975), British Army officer, Chief of the General Staff in India
  • Arthur Vesey Meade MC (1873-1953), 5th Earl of Clanwilliam, British Army officer and politician
  • Vesey O'Davoren (1888-1989), Irish actor, known for his roles in Winds of the Pampas (1927), The Lady Objects (1938) and Raffles (1939)

The Vesey Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Sub hoc signo vinces
Motto Translation: Under this sign we shall conquer.

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  6. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from on Facebook